An older man bought himself an oak toy box

constructed by his own design, painted it bright yellow,

carefully varnished and decorated its surface

with decals of Tom Thumb, Cinderella, fairies,

with sayings such as, “Live And Let Live,”

“Peace And Joy,” and “Rock On”


The older man filled it with rubber cowboys with rifles,

rubber Indians with bows and arrows, plastic dinosaurs,

farm animals, bathtub sailboats, metal miniature cars,

games, kaleidoscopes, coloring books and crayons,

and any small toys he toyed with at shops at airports,

toy aisles, supermarket checkouts


When nephews and nieces visited on holidays

he lifted the lid of his toy box, allowed against

the protests of their young moms and dads

for them to blow bubbles in his living room,

build log cabins for the cowboys, teepees for the Indians

Playing with them on the carpet was one way


For him to get even